Hours: Monday - Thursday 8:00am - 5:00pm

Mini Dental Implants

Mini Dental Implants (MDIs) have changed the face of implant placement. The development of long term MDIs now allows Dr Howlett  to place anchors in the jaw during one  treatment. The most common use for MDIs is the stabilization of dentures ( over dentures). MDIs firmly anchor the dental prosthesis, which means there is no longer any need to suffer with ill-fitting, loose dentures.

With MDIs, many times bone grafting is not needed and the denture can be secured to the implant on the same day. Full implants may require significant bone grafting and a recovery period. The smaller size of MDIs means that there is a shorter recovery (healing) period.

What is the configuration of mini dental implants?

An MDI is a tiny dental implant (similar to a screw) that is designed to act in place of a natural tooth root.  MDIs are generally constructed from titanium and are either sprayed with calcium phosphate, or contain it along the length of the screw portion.  The design and structure of MDIs promotes quick healing and long lasting results.  The head portion of the implant looks very much like a ball.  This ball fits firmly into the retaining mechanism and together these structures hold the dentures at a designated level.  The dentures sit comfortably on the gum tissue and are able to withstand significant amounts of pressure and natural force. A more popular type of attachment is called a ZEST LOCATOR. This is the type of system that Dr. Howlett uses. It provides a more secure fit and acts like a snap such as the same design as you would find in clothing,

What are the advantages of MDI placement?

The most common use for MDIs is to stabilize a lower denture.

Here are some of the other advantages associated with MDIs:

  • Clearer speech.
  • Easier chewing and biting.
  • Easier cleaning.
  • Firmer denture fit.
  • High success rate. Less discomfort..
  • No need for adhesives or messy bonding agents.
  • No slipping, wobbling or disco
  • Quick treatment time.
  • Reduced costs.

How are mini dental implants placed?

The whole mini dental implant placement procedure takes approximately one hour.  Generally, we recommend four (4)  MDIs in the lower jaw and six (6) MDIs in the upper jaw. Prior to inserting MDIs, Dr. Howlett  will use many diagnostic and planning tools to find the optimal place to implant them. An important diagnostic tool that we use with planning all our implant cases is the CT scan which shows the amount of bone volume.

Here is a brief overview of the MDI placement procedure:

  1. A mild anesthetic is administered.
  2. A small hole is drilled in the jawbone to situate each MDI.
  3. Each implant is screwed into place and tightened with a winged wrench.
  4. Finally, a ratchet wrench is used to fully stabilize the MDIs.
  5. The denture is measured against the mini implants and marks are made to indicate the position of the attachment. Once the denture has been fully modified, it can be affixed to the MDIs and either rubber o-rings or Zest locator attachments may be placed.
  6. MDIs hold the denture comfortably and securely.

In almost all cases, no stitching is required and no real discomfort is felt after the procedure.  After the denture placement procedure is complete, light eating can be resumed.  The denture can be removed and cleaned at will. MDIs enhance the natural beauty of the smile and restore full functionality to the teeth.

If you have any questions or concerns about mini dental implants, please ask us.